MMOs aren't just for grown ups anymore. 2009 saw an explosion of MMORPGs geared toward a younger audience, so we felt like it might be a good deda to use one of our awards to recognize those MMOs as well.
As a result, we had an exciting crop of games all competing for the top honor of Best Family Game of 2009.
One game, however, stood out among the rest as the Best Family Game of 2009. The nominees were:
The Winner: Wizard 101
Wizard 101 has been heralded as the kid's MMO for adults. The game is geared toward a younger audience with its playful characters and cartoon graphics, but don't be fooled by its exterior. Inside Wizard 101 is an intense MMO that uses great special effects for spells, daring and risky card game style combat, and a fun universe to explore for players.
The reason Wizard 101 takes home our Best Family Game of 2009 is because kids can play it with their parents and no one will be bored. Hardcore MMO players have come forward and said the game is fun and exciting to them as well.
Wizard 101 players begin as a novice wizard in school that can specialize in different school of magic. The range of possibilities from the Elements, Necromancy, and even Mythical legends really give the players some fun spells to cast. The deck based card combat system gives players a lot of options to build their spells and go out and battle ghouls, pirates, mummified alligators, and dark fairies. Not only that, but there is a PvP dueling system in the game, yes PvP in a family MMO! Wizard 101 recently added mounts to the game and is working on new areas for players to explore. Another fun part is playing the old school style arcade minigames to regain some mana points or win new rewards.
Fun for the young and old MMO players, Wizard 101 wins our Best Family Game of 2009!
Runner Up: Free Realms
The nod for Runner up in our Best Family Game category goes to Sony Online Entertainment's Free Realms. The game, which encourages players to engage in all kinds of play styles by offering multiple careers to all characters, was a breakout from SOE's more traditional adult-centric subscription based MMOs.